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WIB-San Francisco Bay Area: Working Through Adversity, Antibody Discovery, and the Pandemic, July 30, 2020

Posted By Roberta Sala, Tuesday, August 18, 2020
On July 30, 2020, the Women In Bio (WIB) San Francisco Bay Area chapter and Antibody Solutions hosted a virtual (online) panel discussion event titled “Working Through Adversity, Antibody Discovery, and the Pandemic.” Five women with deep antibody discovery expertise participated in the panel. Interest in the event was high as 100 registrations were filled by event day. The event was open to both WIB members, and non-members and over 60 people attended. During the event, attendees learned from the panelists about the science and impact of antibody discovery, challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and later connected with panelists and each other in a more casual setting.

The panel was moderated by Judy Lynch-Kenney (CFO, Antibody Solutions), who asked insightful questions and ended with a timely reminder of the importance of providing a voice to our community of women in bio. Panelists, including Heather Schwoebel, Ph.D., (Vice President, Alloy Therapeutics). Jennifer Somera (Project Manager, Antibody Solutions). Vanessa Soros, Ph.D., (Director, Tizona Therapeutics), provided an informative and engaging view of antibody discovery technologies, approaches, and R&D focuses on their previous and current organizations. Panelists also shared the pandemic-related challenges they faced from team morale, communication, and hiring to interpersonal connection and work-personal boundaries. They provided a candid view of how they navigated these challenges in their professional and personal lives. 

An opportunity to network with a panelist and fellow attendees in a more intimate setting followed everyone organized into smaller virtual groups (breakout rooms). Attendees connected, shared their interests in antibody discovery in greater detail and their personal experiences with pandemic challenges. 

We would like to thank everyone who attended the event! Thanks as well to all the panelists for sharing their insights. The event was informative and supportive due to the openness of panelists and audience members in sharing their diverse thoughts and experiences. On an encouraging note, the sometimes-surprising opportunities they encountered during these unprecedented times.

Tags:  2020 

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WIB-San Francisco Bay Area: Founders Perspectives during COVID – Tips and Lessons for Startups, May 28, 2020

Posted By Martina Doleshal, Tuesday, July 28, 2020
On May 28, 2020, WIB-San Francisco Bay Area and Illumina Accelerator hosted a virtual panel event that brought together four female founders to discuss how they lead, fundraise, and manage running their companies during the COVID-19 era. Amanda Cashin, Ph.D. (Global Head, Illumina Accelerator), introduced the stellar panelists and the challenging role these biotech founders are playing in the current COVID-19 environment. Our panelists included Ridhi Tariyal, MS, MBA (CEO & Co-Founder, NextGen Jane), Emma Taylor, MD (CEO & Co-Founder, Naked Biome), Leah Makley, Ph.D. (President & CEO, ViewPoint Therapeutics), and Tara deBoer, Ph.D. (CEO & Founder, BioAmp Diagnostics, Inc.). Over 40 attendees joined us for this event!
 
Ridhi moderated the large group session, focusing the discussion on topics ranging from fundraising, M&A, asset sales, leading teams, hiring new employees without meeting them, to building company culture when abruptly forced to move into a virtual environment. It was especially relevant for our attendees to get an insider's account of just how our panelists are managing their research labs, generating opportunities, and keeping investors and stakeholders engaged during these highly unprecedented times. The founders also shared their future perspectives on what the transition back to an in-person work environment may look like. Our attendees enjoyed some one-on-one time with the founders in small breakout sessions with discussions ranging from changing jobs during COVID-19, applying for new startup funding, pursuing different careers within biotech, participating in conferences, and virtual forums, as well as general tips for coping during COVID-19.
 
We thank the Illumina Accelerator and our panelists for volunteering their valuable time to educate and support our local Bay Area community! It was a deeply engaging event, thanks to our panelists’ candid responses and willingness to talk about the positive, the surprising, and the challenging situations we all now face.
 

Tags:  2020 

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WIB-San Francisco Bay Area: Pioneering in Cell Therapy - A Journey from New Frontier to the Mainstream, June 24, 2020

Posted By Jessica Lao, Tuesday, June 30, 2020
On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, WIB-San Francisco Bay Area hosted a virtual event, Pioneering in Cell Therapy: A Journey from New Frontiers to the Mainstream. The event was very popular with over 60 attendees from all over the USA.

The panel discussion was moderated by Kawa Chiu (VP, CMC Supply Chain, Lyell Immunopharma), and included experts on cell therapy from different perspectives: Alison Moore (CTO, Allogene Therapeutics), Stacey Ma (EVP, Technical Operations, Sana Biotechnology), and Rachel Lynn (Associate Director of Research, Lyell Immunopharma). They shared a good review of what cell therapy is, a bit on the history of cell therapy, the challenges facing the industry, and a look at some of the successes. 

Participants were then taken to breakout sessions where more information around the science behind cell therapies was discussed, as well as detailed discussions on the path of moving from a Ph.D. to CTO, how to transition from academia to business, a look at the differences from working with a large biopharma to a startup, and a deep dive into career opportunities and transferable skills if someone wanted to shift to the area of cell therapy.

We would like to thank everyone who attended this event, and especially our panel. The information here was a wonderful taste of the world of cell therapy!

Tags:  2020 

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WIB-San Francisco Bay Area: Discover the invisible world of microbes! A Young Women In Bio Event at College Track (Oakland), March 12, 2020

Posted By Tanvi Sinha, Thursday, March 26, 2020
On March 12, 2020, the YWIB-San Francisco Bay Area chapter intended to hold an event exclusively for College Track Oakland participants to introduce students to the invisible world of microbes. The event would have included a hands-on activity to demonstrate how to swab surfaces and grow bacteria on agar plates. Given the global situation surrounding COVID-19, the decision was made to reschedule the event as a video conference to talk about the biology of bacteria and viruses and to speak to the science behind the CDC/WHO recommendations on handwashing and social distancing, particularly as it relates to COVID-19. 

Julie Huang, a YWIB-San Francisco Bay Area volunteer, and local microbiologist led this event to great success. It was attended by four 9th graders who are part of the College Track program and were highly engaged during the presentation, asking thoughtful questions throughout. Key topics included the effectiveness of antibiotics for bacterial vs viral infections, the propagation of viruses, viral genetic material and the way in which scientists leverage this information to develop vaccines, and the process through which viruses infect humans. The discussion also focused on the way in which viruses enter the respiratory system and why handwashing is so important. Julie also explained the importance of social distancing and why schools are closing in an effort to help “flatten the curve” and not overburden the healthcare system.

The students and the site coordinator at College Track gave extremely positive feedback on this event. The lower participation for this particular event was due to students needing to be present at the College Track site to participate in this particular virtual event.

We are incredibly proud of Julie for proactively being sensitive to the needs and comfort of the students and volunteers, re-planning a remote activity on 24 hours’ notice, and coordinating all the details, as well as running a very high-quality event which actively engaged the students with a timely connection of science to current world news and events. She represented YWIB beautifully! As a result of this event, we are considering ways in which to present a virtual event to a significantly larger audience with similar content.


Tags:  2020  YWIB 

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WIB-San Francisco Bay Area: Networking Happy Hour in the South Bay, February 27, 2020

Posted By Devinder Ubhi, Wednesday, March 18, 2020
On February 27, 2020 – WIB-San Francisco Bay Area hosted a appy Hour Social especially for our South Bay community at Steins Beer Garden in Mountain View. We were thrilled to reach full capacity with the incredible turnout of so many current and new members. Steins did not disappoint with amazing beers, wines, cocktails and appetizers pouring in while networking and socializing were in full swing. It was the perfect place to make new connections, share ideas and get uncensored feedback. A big thank you to the number of recruiters for attending and directly engaging with those members seeking better opportunities. These networking socials remind us we live in an extraordinary biotech hub that brings together so many incredible bay area professionals. WIB-San Francisco Bay Area is inspired by this amazing community and here to support many more socials in 2020! 

Tags:  2020 

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WIB-San Francisco Bay Area: Kick-Off Networking Happy Hour, January 30, 2020

Posted By Marsha Morgenstern, Wednesday, February 19, 2020

On January 30, 2020, WIB-San Francisco Bay Area kicked off the new year with a networking event in Oakland at Rosenblum Wine Cellars. The mixer was a success with an enthusiastic group of women mingling over wine and cheese. With 2020 just beginning, there was a flurry of engaging conversations on how the life sciences industry would evolve this year. It was a great networking session and participants walked away with new connections and friends!

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Looking forward to a great year ahead!



Tags:  2020 

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WIB-San Francisco Bay Area: Holiday Party at Alchemist Bar & Lounge, December 9, 2019

Posted By Karen Ring, Monday, December 23, 2019

On December 9, 2019, over seventy life science professionals celebrated the holidays and the year's accomplishments at the annual WIB-San Francisco Bay Area's 2019 holiday party at the Alchemist in San Francisco! Our Chapter Leadership, Karen Ring, MeeJ Kim, and Melina Mathur, recounted WIB-San Francisco Bay Area's achievements this year and reviewed our program highlights. While mingling over delicious cocktails and reminiscing over the past year, members and newcomers snacked on a delicious spread and greeted friends both old and new.


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Thank you to our wonderful sponsors and members who have been with us through the years and those who have joined us recently in making 2019 a memorable year! A big shout out to our volunteers for making this year a grand success and without whom the panel discussions, seminars, and networking events would not have been possible. Happy Holidays!


Tags:  2019 

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WIB-San Francisco Bay Area: MAPS Fall Launch Networking Event, November 20, 2019

Posted By Devinder Ubhi, Monday, December 23, 2019

On November 20, 2019, over 35 life science professional women joined us at the WIB-San Francisco Bay Area: MAPS Fall Launch Networking Event at Brew382 in South San Francisco. The event was to kick-off the Fall 2019 MAPS cycling for peer groups and mentoring pairs. The venue was ideally situated with its close proximity to the BioHub capital. Throughout the evening, new peer groups and 1:1 mentoring pairs met face-to-face. Current and prospective members were able to learn more about the MAPS community and the greater WIB network and how both are helping to launch and further propel the careers of our local Bay Area professionals. Everyone felt a strong momentum for 2020, and we can’t wait to host our next event in the Spring! If interested in participating in MAPS, please visit the WIB Mentoring page to fill out the San Francisco application found at: https://www.womeninbio.org/page/MAPSPeers

 

 

 

Tags:  2019  MAPS 

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WIB-San Francisco Bay Area: Pharmaceutical Pricing: What Does The Future Hold?, September 19, 2019

Posted By Devinder Ubhi , Thursday, October 24, 2019

On September 19, 2019 the WIB San-Francisco Bay Area Chapter and Foley & Lardner LLP hosted a panel discussion on the future of pharmaceutical pricing and its impact on public health. The roundtable was moderated by Sara Singer (Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine and Professor, by courtesy, at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies). Panelists included Katie Gudiksen (Senior Health Policy Researcher for The Source on Healthcare Price and Competition), Robin Howard (V.P. of Commercial Planning at Global Blood Therapeutics), and Allison Dupuy (Managing Partner and U.S. Head of Life Sciences at Simon-Kucher & Partners).

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The illustrious panel provided nuanced and detailed perspectives on proposed payer solutions and their potential implications on drug pricing, access, and the overall healthcare landscape. The event was attended by 28 industry professionals, and attendees walked away with an in-depth understanding of the complexities and stakeholders embedded within the US healthcare challenges. Some attendees reported that the panel was “super informative” and will help them serve their clients better with exclusive insights. 

 

Tags:  2019 

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WIB-San Francisco Bay Area: Young Women In Bio - Curious about how embryos (babies) develop?, September 25, 2019

Posted By Tanvi Sinha , Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Young Women In Bio (YWIB)-San Francisco Bay Area is continuing to partner with College Track to bring hands-on STEM experiences to young women. Last year, YWIB volunteers led by Dr. Tanvi Sinha, a cell and developmental biologist from UCSF, hosted a successful event at College Track, Oakland that used chick embryos to teach about developmental biology. On September 25, 2019, YWIB brought a similar event to the College Track San Francisco branch, again led by Dr. Sinha. Sarah Odeh helped organize and Dr. Anne de Bruyn Kops assisted at the event. 

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Five 11th-grade girls participated in the event which Dr. Sinha began by briefly introducing the girls to YWIB.  Dr. Sinha then explained the stages of embryonic development using a short slide presentation.  She described the process in humans vs. animals, showing what the stages look like and emphasizing that many genes involved in development are shared among species. The girls quickly became engaged, asking questions, and sharing relevant information they had learned in school. The students were so quick to recognize the similarities between equivalent developmental stages in different species that a matching game that had been planned to prompt this was bypassed, allowing for more time to dissect the embryos. 

Dr. Sinha provided fertilized chicken eggs at different stages and demonstrated how to crack the eggs into weigh boats to examine the embryos. The girls enthusiastically cracked numerous eggs each and compared the developmental stages of the embryos with those on the introductory slide show.  They shared their impressions and examined each other’s embryos. Not knowing what stage they would find in each egg added to the fun and promoted interaction among the students. Questions from the girls led to an interesting discussion of how the study of developmental biology applies to disease and we briefly mentioned the availability of summer research internships and the fact that a STEM background can lead to many different careers.

The five students who participated in the event provided enthusiastic feedback.  Most felt that the level of the activity and presentation was just right and were eager to participate in other events. The students reported that they enjoyed the hands-on aspect of the event. They liked being able to crack the eggs themselves and observe development first hand as well as learning about different stages of development and the similarities between species. Suggestions for ways to improve the event included a field trip and more time for questions and discussion. 

YWIB‐San Francisco Bay Area is grateful to College Track ‐ San Francisco for highlighting the importance of STEM for young girls and providing an opportunity for us to share our experience and love of science. We thank Michael Bluing for helping us arrange the event and look forward to future programs with College Track. 

Tags:  2019  YWIB 

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